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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 22, No. 4. April 27, 1959

Lust for Power

Lust for Power


Seeing that the Association of Scientists has taken advantage of your columns for free advertising (their deliciously ingenuous statement of their lust for power can only be so construed) they expose themselves to critical appraisal.

What the Association so signally fails to appreciate in this and similar claims for professional status is that the professionals they quote who must register before practising their professions must do so not merely for their own benefit but for the protection of the public.

Now while there may be grounds for considering the public in need of protection from scientists, nevertheless they have never in any public utterance drawn attention to this need. What they have demonstrated is their craving for greater emolument, greater privilege, more power.

The important feature of the true profession as opposed to the mere trade or craft is that it involves a relationship (often highly intimate) between the practitioner and the client and it is this highly vulnerable relationship which must be safeguarded by the professional organisation. (From this viewpoint teachers of all levels are more in need of recognition as professionals than scientists).

Now, however much the scientist may serve the community, he very rarely does so in the form of this close relationship which is the hall-mark of the true professional and therefore I think his claims to true professional status with the registration and organisation that go with it are quite unwarranted.

—Yours etc.,

B. C. Walsh,

Botany Dept.